Air Canada gives Bombardier CSeries a break

Air Canada and Bombardier have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the purchase of 75 CS300 airliners, marking a major breakthrough for Bombardier and its troubled CSeries program. A firm order is worth an estimated 3.8 billion USD.

The preliminary agreement covers 45 orders and options for another 30 aircraft. Deliveries should start in 2019. The CS300 is  currently involved in verification flights for type certification, something the smaller CS100 already achieved late last year, although that process was delayed due to various issues during development and flight testing. The CS300 should be certified within months.

The first of the CSeries is to be delivered to Swiss in the first half of 2016. The Swiss airline acted as launch customer for the type, with interest elsewhere much lower than anticipated. The financial difficulties Bombardier experienced over the last few years, didn’t help in gaining the trust of potential customers.

The interest from Air Canada is not a huge suprise though. The Quebec government already invested 1 billion dollars in Bombardier in the hope to preserve jobs and Canada’s aviation industry altogether. Bombardier states it now bagged 678 total orders and commitments for the CSeries, 243 of which are firm orders

Meanwhile, in trying to save costs Bombardier also announced it cuts thousands of jobs in other divisions while hiring new staff for CSeries production.

© 2016 editor Elmer van Hest